River Boat Picnic Dinner for Fourteen

the gang’s all here

We’re now a party of fourteen, eleven adults, and three littles. For Peanut’s Providence College Graduation Weekend, Bill and I scooped them all up and out to Rhode Island for a three-night stay to celebrate her accomplishments. Not a small feat, this required planes, trains, automobiles, hotel accommodations, and dinner reservations. 

with honors
proud dad, on the way to art history department luncheon

Dinner reservations for a large group in a college town on graduation weekend were challenging. Peanut secured a 5:15 pm (the first seating!) at one of her favorite spots Circe for Friday evening, and I booked a table on Sunday at 2 pm at Res American Bistro. Saturday afternoon Bill and I were invited to her department honor luncheon at the school. When I called and emailed our acceptance, I explained that Peanut was the youngest of six and all her siblings and significands would be there to celebrate, and could we please reply for fourteen guests. The school graciously said yes.

Knowing I would be pushing the envelope with two seated meals on one day, each requiring three highchairs, I booked a private hour and a half river cruise for Saturday evening. The river cruise would also pre-empt a Saturday night dinner reservation, and I decided to simply cater Saturday night’s dinner as the boat was bringing your food and beverage.  

made seven small lemon cakes while in Buffalo NY, here they are waiting for lemon sugar infusion
Friday morning in Boston MA. I made the dill sauce while in Buffalo NY and packed it in a Mason jar. The two bags of frozen shrimp helped keep all things cold during the six-hour drive and were defrosted perfectly the next morning.
Mise en place for Chinese chicken salad. The peanut sauce was made in Buffalo NY as well. Ethan and Caroline loved this.
mise en place for pasta salad with pesto and peas, had to have something for the littles
my kitchen in Boston MA is small yet highly functional. I outfitted it with good equipment as cooking is life.
it’s super easy to roast a tenderloin, let it cool, and wrap it in foil for transport. always a favorite with the men.
we bought fun, little individual cocktails (not a great pic yet when tequila is involved everyone is happy)
I also bought a bouquet of flowers while in Southie. I just couldn’t show up without flowers for her. she kept them in her room during the weekend and then brought them back to Boston with her after her bittersweet move-out (our car and Caroline and Sean’s car were packed!)
here I am in the hotel room kitchen prepping sandwiches. Caroline and Lindsey helped too.
I bought the bamboo flatware and takeout boxes on Amazon. We labeled them with one of Peyton’s crayons
dinner to go
I thought the shrimp salad was the best

I planned out the menu a week ahead, shopped and baked in Buffalo, NY (freezing the cookies, not the lemon cakes, making all the sauces ahead), and packed the food in coolers to drive to Boston, MA. Friday morning, I roasted the beef, made the Chinese chicken salad, the shrimp salad, and the pesto pasta salad, and packed that all in containers for the drive to Providence, RI. Caroline had a full-size refrigerator in her hotel room, so I stored the food there. Saturday afternoon, after the luncheon, we sliced the beef, assembled the sandwiches, and packed single servings of each of the choices in brown paper containers. We were ready to cruise with bamboo flatware, paper napkins and plates, box Rosé, Bud Light, and fun little cocktails.

Captain Tim helping us board. Sean has the food, Lexi has the rosé. all photos are now from Maxwell.
me and Peanut and Lizzie. better pic of the small cocktails.
all beautiful
sandwich closeup
it was fun and different. a seated Saturday night dinner would have been challenging.
the youngest of our bunch, William
sometimes it’s all a romantic blur. recording notes here helps keep the memories alive.
our boat gear even included a stroller, many moving parts
Linnehan family
photographer Maxwell and beautiful Lexi
Lindsey, Rory, and Ethan
love these men
our graduate, Mary Melissa, Mimi, Peanut (scarf as top)
Rory and Lindsey (scarf as dress)
love my family

It took time, effort, and coordination, yet all good things require output. Peanut applied herself for four years earning honors, and her achievements were worthy of celebration.

Heartfelt congratulations, Peanut. Wishing you much-continued success. Next stop, Pierre Frey!

onward and upward

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